IT has been four months but for Paul Lee, Rain or Shine’s Philippine Cup Finals loss to San Mig Coffee is still fresh and he is relishing the chance to exact revenge.
The former University of the East Red Warrior guard helped power the Painters to a 97-94 victory in over Alaska on Saturday in Game Five of the semifinals and into the title series of the Governors’ Cup against the grand slam-seeking SMC Mixers.
“Iyung laban lang namin nung All-Filipino, yun lang magiging motivation ko, at sana ganun din ang mga teammates ko,” Lee said, who hopes that Rain or Shine’s Finals rematch would yield a positive result for his team this time.
The Philippine Cup loss was heartbreaking for Lee, especially because the Painters lost by just an average margin of 5.5 points in the title series.
“Kasi ang (Philippine Cup Finals) games namin against San Mig lahat close games eh, so ito lang yung chance na makabawi kami,” added Lee.
The former PBA Rookie of the Year said playing San Mig requires probably little adjustment since the Mixers, like the Aces, employ the triangle offense.
Lee feels the tough series they had against Alaska could work well for his team, which is eyeing its second PBA championship in franchise history.
“Ngayon mas okay yung experience namin sa Alaska series, kasi parang same din lang ang ginagawa ng San Mig,” explained Lee.
“Kung ano mismatch, yun ang pino-post nila (Mixers), so makakatulong itong (semifinal) series na ito sa championship (series),” he added.
Rain or Shine squeaked past San Mig, 95-94, at the close of the single-round eliminations just two weeks ago.
But that was a non-bearing game, as both teams have already secured twice-to-beat advantages in the playoffs.
The best-of-five championship series begins on Tuesday at MOA Arena.